The Kiddos’ Birthday Bash

Both of my children were born the week of Thanksgiving, their birthdays two days apart.  And every year around Thanksgiving I ponder the question of whether or not to combine their birthdays with the holiday to simplify.  But something always holds me back because I feel like they’ll miss out or get lost in the shuffle.  Aside from that, I run the risk of not being able to invite friends and family who are with their own relatives.

So once again, after doing our own thing for each of the kids on their respective birthdays, we had a family party the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  It worked out nicely because it was earlier in the afternoon, which gave us more daylight during which the kids could play outside and more time before telling them they had to stop playing with their new toys and go to bed.

I was thrilled that Gwen loved her Princess and the Pea set.  She was very quiet about the whole thing, which is typical for her, but she thanked me more than once for making it and set about playing with it right away.  She even named the doll “Petunia.” *grin*  For her birthday she told me she wanted pancakes for breakfast, burgers for lunch and macaroni & cheese for dinner.  Sounds good to me!  I made cranberry-chocolate-chip pancakes, we went to Crazy Burger for lunch (so good!) and then had Annie’s shells – a family favorite – for dinner.  She requested ice cream for dessert, but since I didn’t feel like spending the money for all of us to go out somewhere, I bought amaretto cherry gelato from Target – it was heavenly!

Josiah was a little less decided about what he wanted for his birthday – he would be content to stuff his face with fruit all day!  Gwen was with her grandma so he got to spend the day with Mommy and Daddy.  He opened gifts over breakfast and then we – along with my visiting twin brother and his wife – went to my weekly doctor’s appointment and got to see pictures of the baby (always a bit nerve-wracking because you don’t know if something is wrong, but still a highlight of my week).  We went to Panera for lunch, hung out with Aunt and Uncle making silly faces on their IPad and had healthy chocolate chip cookie pie for birthday dessert.

I ended using some of the birthday ideas I had stowed away, making a lemon-raspberry cake (based on this recipe) with a colorful pom pom garland.  I made an extra half recipe of the cake to make cupcakes, stacking two of them to make mini cakes for the kiddos.  The mini cakes were cute – especially on slices of cedar that Daddy cut – albeit a bit tipsy.  Somewhat said they looked a bit Seuss-ish; I’ll take that as a compliment!

Aside from cake and ice cream we had homemade Martinelli’s in a big punch bowl, cheese and crackers, pita chips with homemade lentil dip and pizza hummus, an assortment of fresh fruit and peanut M&Ms (thank you, Halloween clearance).

I absolutely love how the ruffled streamers turned out and almost wish I had made more – though I had two huge rolls when all was said and done.  Dan and Jenn were good sports and helped me string them from the beams and loft railing across the living room ceiling.  I put some random streamers across a white tablecloth for the food table.

We were so blessed to have both local and out-of-town family be a part of our celebration.  I’m always telling people not to bring gifts, but of course they come anyway, and they were a big hit.  The kiddos have been enjoying all their generous gifts – Gwen decorating and stocking her new jewelry box, playing with her snazzy dollhouse, watching “Brave” and practicing archery with a homemade bow and arrow.  Josiah is utterly cute and smashing in his fire chief boots and has hardly taken them off, wearing them while riding his wooden trike, playing with his new puzzles and tractors and eating fruit snacks.

Despite all the wonderful happenings and celebrations last week, and the fact that I’m a bit sad we had to say goodbye to faraway family, I’m glad things have settled down a bit and we’re back to our normal routine.  December, here we come!